Category Archives: IEEE Spectrum

Power Production Decentralizes in Mexico

Over the last twenty years, Mexico’s electricity sector has shifted from being almost 100 percent state-owned and centralized to about one quarter privately generated. This summer, the Mexican government signed into law energy and electricity grid reforms that will accelerate the decentralization of its electricity production (See “Mexico Opens Its Grid to Competition.”). By the end of this year, a new agency should have a regulatory map available for power producers large and small, said Edgar López, renewable energies director at Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) at a conference in Mexico City last month. Continue reading

Formula E Opens With A Crash

The first race in the ten-race electric Formula E series ended with a crash this past Saturday in Beijing. e.dams-Renault driver Nico Prost held the lead toward the end of the race, but as he approached the final lap, Venturi driver Nick Heidfeld passed Prost on the inside. Prost bumped Heidfeld, sending the Venturi car into a crash barrier and into the air. After landing upside down, Heidfeld scrambled out of the car and accosted Prost. Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi passed the pair and took first place. Continue reading

Photo: Todd Lapin via Flickr: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/telstar/4236562176/in/photolist-7snuks-5qodub-n65QQ-9Y4BA-5taBZZ-9DWC1t-55F9JS-69uBs3-9DWBcx-5nvqRu-9bjx5k-c5QHi-7uGNKv-n8EGj-iXEaD--648uDd-bsFdxt-86fVC-8xQmwz-ncu6j3-644fXt-vcU61-o6hcY-4ezssL-jybYPD-9r3rn-p4JRe-8z2hCm-4RyJ2p-aT4Dwc-bs9odR-BCCZz-iXDmw-iXDF4-iXDTv-iXD1m-UBsSM-8dqEz-68hTzf-6qHHrZ-7snuj5-eXTnsN-5tcwiP-5vmJs5-5UKeqa-7Wx3zA-nSeCFL-25Faf7-degfS

Mexico Opens Its Grid to Competition

As part of a wider reform of its energy market, Mexico is privatizing its energy regulator and will begin allowing private companies to sell energy to, and add capacity to, its electricity grid. The country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, enacted the laws (English summaries) on Monday, August 11th (Spanish pdf). Petroleum and electricity have been state monopolies in law since the 1917 constitution and in practice since the late 1930s, when Mexico succeeded in expropriating foreign energy firms’ holdings.

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What Do Women in Engineering Want?

For years, psychologist Nadya A. Fouad of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has been asking women in engineering what they want. She and organizational psychologist Romila Singh, also at U-W Milwaukee, conducted a National Science Foundation-supported survey asking over 5,000 female engineers their reasons for leaving—or staying—in the field. On Saturday, 9 August, at the American Psychological Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Fouad presented their latest analysis of that data. Those who leave, she reports, turn out to be just as confident and successful as those who stay. They may, however, be more likely to have encountered belittling or undermining from colleagues and a lack of support from their supervisors.

“I really want the narrative to not just be: ‘Women don’t have confidence, women need to lean in,'” Fouad says. “With all the will in the world, if the climate doesn’t change, women can lean in, but they will still get pushed back.”

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